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Volunteers out in force in search for Sigrid, 16

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Volunteers out in force in search for Sigrid, 16
Photo: Scanpix
08:14 CEST+02:00
Hundreds of volunteers continued to search for missing Oslo teenager Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne on Wednesday while police have stepped up their investigation into the girl's disappearance.
While Oslo police on Wednesday called off their search for Giskegjerde Schjetne who went missing on Saturday night, they have said that it could resume at any time if they receive tips that suggest a breakthrough in the case. 
 
"But then it will be criminal search not a search for a missing person," said police inspector Hanne Kristin Rohde to NTB, while underlining that the investigation had in no way been scaled down.
 
Rohde participated in the party of over 500 volunteers who gathered at Østensjø school on Wednesday to continue the search for the 16-year-old.
 
"We shall find Sigrid, and that is what we are spending time on. We can't sleep unless we have made a proper full blown effort, which is, we look until we find," said Bengt Eriksen, who is coordinating the volunteer effort.
 
Since the 16-year-old Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne disappeared near her home in Østensjø on Sunday morning, the case has been given top priority by both the police and the large crowd of volunteers. 
 
In addition to the police, the Red Cross, Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) and the Norwegian Rescue Dogs (NSRD) have taken part in the search, along with helicopters from the police and the military.
 
Police have since Tuesday concentrated on the area between Skullerud and Grønmo after the find of a white sock, similar to the one found by Sigrid Schjetnes shoes. 
 
By 8pm on Wednesday it had not yet been ascertained whether DNA found on the socks matches the 16-year-old.
 
The driver of the car that was seen around the time Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne disappeared had still not come forward. Police believe that this fact makes the observation even more interesting. The vehicle was seen on Dalbakkveien in Østensjø.
 
"The vehicle was seen with the lights on at exactly the time when Sigrid disappeared," Hanne Kristin Rohde said.
 
Rohde underlined that the police want the driver to come forward, and called for anyone with information of the vehicle to contact the police. 
 
Police have now published the photo of the hoodie Sigrid was wearing on her way home when she disappeared.
 
Oslo police have requested assistance from both the Police Security Service (PST) and the National Criminal Investigation Service  (Kripos) to go through the more than 700 tips that have come in since Saturday night and they have set up a new tips hotline - 22 66 96 00.
 
Geir Strand, a spokesperson for the family, has said that the search will go on as long as people are willing to participate.
 
"We have searched vast areas in the Greater Oslo area," he said, while acknowledging that it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
 
"But it is better to search, than not to search, that is the alternative," he said.
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